Mugabe's latest actions topple Impala's CEO

Mugabe's latest actions topple Impala's CEO
Published: 18 January 2012 (1931 Views)
Impala Platinum CEO David Brown has tendered his resignation, week after the Zimbabwean government issued a US$28 million garnishee order against Zimplats to recover outstanding royalties.

The order was served on Stanbic Bank on November 16 last year and five days later, the bank had remitted to the Zimbabwean government some US$7million from Zimplats' accounts.

In the court papers, Zimplats chief finance officer Patrick Museva-Shayawabaya argued that Zimra acted unlawfully when it issued the garnishee order, adding that the figure of US$28 million was still in dispute.

Brown had been doing his best to play down the impact of irrational political decisions on the group's important Zimplats operations.

After Wednesday's announcement that Brown will be leaving the world's second largest platinum group at the end of June to "pursue his own interests".

The situation for foreign companies operating in Zimbabwe has deteriorated further in the past five months.

Brown, a chartered accountant, joined the Implats board as the CFO 13 years ago, later taking over from Keith Rumble as CEO in 2006. Notably, today's official announcement from the group says "He was instrumental in the development of Implats' Zimbabwean assets…."

Impala says it has identified a successor and "is currently in the process of finalising this appointment." That could mean Chairman Khotso Mokhele has just heard from headhunters that someone on the board is available. Or not. Tellingly, the release adds that an announcement about the appointment will be made "in due course". If the person is identified, why not now? All of this is hardly a model in succession planning. It's also not what investors should expect from a R108bn group, one of the most valuable on the JSE.

There is sure to be a far more interesting story than the sanitised version in Wednesday's press release. We look forward to sharing the real reasons why 49-year-old' Brown is giving up his R6.6m a year job. A position that also brought benefits from a share option scheme which ensured he owns Impala shares worth R15.4m even at today's relative depressed price levels.


- Byo24News

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